Buenavista, the oldest municipality in Guimaras found on its northwestern tip, can probably be best described as “all-in-one.” Once called Himalus (“revenge”) among other names before a Spanish governor general’s gleeful declaration of “Buena vista!” (“Beautiful view!”) stuck, Buenavista has something to offer any and all types of travelers.
The MacArthur Wharf, otherwise known as the Buenavista Wharf, is a good place to start any kind of trip in Buenavista. Named after World War II General Douglas MacArthur, who had the wharf built while he was stationed in the province, it was near this place that MacArthur himself was nearly ambushed by guerilla soldiers. The whole stretch of The MacArthur Wharf is now home to hotels, rental houses and restaurants catering to the visitors of the area.
History buffs can get their fill of WWII facts by heading to the Mini Park and Heroes Memorial Park in New Poblacion, which houses a monument dedicated to the heroes of Buenavista. The Punta Blanco Firing Range, also constructed under the orders of MacArthur, gives tourists a glimpse of where the soldiers practiced their shooting skills.
Those who prefer modern history will enjoy Roca Encantadia, or Enchanted Rock, a summer house built atop a hill by a known wealthy family, the Lopez clan, in 1910. It was declared as a Heritage House in 2002.
Nature lovers can enjoy the famous fresh spring water of the Daliran Cave or trek up to the peak of the Dagsaan Eco Park, a 133-hectare protected area, to enjoy the calming, scenic view of the Iloilo Strait. The most popular of the natural tourist destinations of Buenavista is the Siete Pecados or the Islets of the Sevens Sins, which are largely uninhabited, save for the island housing a 19th century lighthouse.
Religious devotees can visit the Parish of St. Isidore the Worker, also known as the Navalas Church, and the Marian Shrine. Come by the third Sunday of January to experience the Palayag Festival in honor of the Santo Niño and enjoy a day full of parades, dances, and musical tableaus.
Before leaving Buenavista, bring home some mango-based products such as jams, chutneys, and juices from McNester Food Products. If you prefer to purchase something that lasts longer, buy a small-scale replica of a galleon (ships that were used by the Spaniards for trading in the 16th century) from the Guimaras Model Galleon Makers Association.